Friday Network News: November 23

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Eaton Towers is reportedly planning to build another 250 transmitter towers in Africa in 2013, increasing its tower portfolio by a sixth. The London-based company will build approximately 100 towers in Uganda, 100 in South Africa and 50 in Ghana next year, in an expansion driven by growing internet use on the continent, according to Reuters. This will raise the total number of towers the firm owns or manages to 1,750. Eaton, which marks Vodafone, MTN and Bharti Airtel among its customers, is also planning more acquisitions next year in east and west Africa.



US provider Dakota Carrier Network (DCN) has upgraded its statewide optical backbone to deliver 40Gbps and 100Gbps wavelength services. The provider deployed Ciena’s coherent optical processors for the 88 channel DWDM ring deployment, which will allow DCN to deliver high-speed low latency voice, video and data services to its commercial, education and government customers across North Dakota. The deployment will allow DCN to offer voice, video and data transport at speeds up to 10 times faster than typical services and was carried out to support demand from cellular backhaul, business and residential customers across the state, according to Ciena.



UAE-based satellite operator Yahsat is preparing to launch Ka-band satellite broadband services in South Sudan over the coming months. Yahsat selected local ISP RCS-Communication as its service partner in the country and says that the service will provide satellite broadband internet to unserved and underserved locations and communities across the country. Flippie Odendal, MD of RCS-Communications in South Sudan, said that the company would be recruiting and training VSAT technicians and support staff for the service and would be running extensive tests over the next few months before making it available to clients.



US provider Bristol Tennessee Essential Service (BTES) has launched a 1Gbps broadband service to all of its 33,000 residential and business electric customers. The deployment, which utilises Alcatel-Lucent’s gigabit passive optical network technology, will offer speeds up to 10 times fasters than US regulator the FCC’s broadband speed target of 100Mbps by 2020. BTES CEO, Michael Browder, boasts that users will be able to download two hours of video in under six seconds. The solution uses Alcatel’s optical line terminals and optical network terminals and will connect to a 10Gbps backbone.



Satellite launch specialist Sea Launch has announced that its vessels have departed their home port in California for the equator, in preparation for the launch of the Eutelsat 70B satellite. The satellite is designed with an in-orbit lifetime exceeding 15 years and has a 48 Ku-band transponder payload. It will replace the Eutelsat 70A satellite and more than double Eutelsat’s capabilities to provide premium communications services for users in Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. Liftoff is planned for 21:43:55 CET on Sunday December 2 at the opening of a 54-minute launch window.



Vodacom South Africa 4G users will now be able to utilise voice and text messaging after the operator selected Nokia Siemens Networks to enable circuit switch fall-back functionality on its LTE network. The service will allow 4G users to make and receive voice calls through its GSM or 3G network, while retaining the benefits of LTE, and Vodacom SA claims it is the first company in the country to offer both 4G and voice services. Vodacom will have access to the vendor’s Flexi Multiradio base station, and will deliver planning, implementation, optimisation and support services for the network.



Colt has deployed Infinera’s 100G Ethernet service over the European operator’s long distance network. The partnership will enable Colt to offer 100Gbps Ethernet services across its infrastructure, and combine 20 Colt carrier neutral data centres, with its long distance network, to connect Colt’s 39 metropolitan area networks and 18,000 directly connected buildings. Colt is expanding its data centre and network infrastructure in strategic areas for customers to utilise its services.



Deutsche Telekom International Carrier Sales & Solutions (ICSS) has been appointed to provide a high-speed data connection between the CERN data centre in Geneva and a recently established Wigner Research Centre for Physics in Budapest, Hungary. The deal, which is supported by local Deutsche unit T-Systems Switzerland, will see the carrier provide an Ethernet connection between the two sites, supporting transmission speeds of up to 100Gbps. Through the connection, CERN, which operates the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), will be able to transmit large volumes of data between Geneva and Budapest.



Pacnet has announced that it is delivering additional trans-Pacific network capacity between Japan and the US to Japanese ISP NEC BIGLOBE. BIGLOBE has partnered with the carrier to directly connect its data centre in Japan and the Any2 Internet Exchange in Los Angeles with an Ethernet International Private Line (EIPL) service over the EAC Pacific subsea cable system. Through the agreement, BIGLOBE aims to improve the experience of customers connecting to US-based social networks and cloud services.



Zain Kuwait is claiming to be the first operator to provide 4G LTE services nationwide, having launched its LTE network this week. The service will be available for mobile phones, tablets, routers, hotspots and dongles. Zain claims that it will provide customers with the fastest mobile internet speed in the country and said that it plans to continue to invest heavily in new technologies and services.